[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/05/art.fundad.cnn.jpg caption="New ad links Bush and McCain."] (CNN) - A recently-formed group that debuted a million-dollar attack ad against presumptive GOP nominee John McCain this week is backed by deep-pockets Democratic donors planning a major campaign-year push.
The Campaign to Defend America, which is backed financially by the Fund for America, began airing “McSame” in the crucial general election swing state of Ohio earlier this week. The ad compares McCain’s and the president’s positions on tax cuts, energy policy, health care and the war in Iraq, saying that the Arizona senator is “McSame as Bush.”
“Tell John McCain we need a new direction. Not the McSame old thing,” says the announcer in the 30-second spot.
Late last year, shortly after it formed, the Campaign ran tough ads targeting four Republican senators over their support for President Bush’s policy in Iraq.
The Fund is a 527, which means it does not face typical federal restrictions on fundraising and spending, as long as it does not coordinate with or directly advocate for a particular candidate. The Campaign for America is a 501 (c) (4) issue advocacy group.
The group’s official leadership includes Anna Burger of the Service Employees International Union and Change to Win, which have endorsed Democrat Barack Obama, and Rob McKay of the Democracy Alliance, a coalition of some of the party’s wealthiest backers. The SEIU and progressive philanthropist George Soros have already donated millions to the effort.
–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand